The borough is seeing the lion's share of a record $600 million-plus in acquisitions in the outer boroughs in the first half.
Earlier this year, four besuited Japanese men representing Sumitomo
Corp., whose holdings stretch from banking to automaking, paid a call on
Adam Hess, a Brooklyn-based sales broker. They told him the Tokyo-based
company wanted to add a new type of asset to its portfolio—Brooklyn
So do many other overseas-based property investors, who are
increasingly bypassing Manhattan—the preferred landing strip for alien
invasions of the past—in favor of jumping straight into the market in
now world-famous Brooklyn. Through the first half of the year, foreign
groups have shelled out more than $600 million for real estate in the
city's outer boroughs, the most ever invested from abroad, with the
lion's share of it gushing into deals in Brooklyn, according to data
from Real Capital Analytics.
The biggest of those investments by far came in June when the Chinese
firm Greenland Holdings bought a majority stake in the massive
residential development planned for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards, which Greenland last month rechristened Pacific Park.
Many others have also swooped in this year. U.K.-based Ennismore
Capital recently snapped up a nearly 40,000-square-foot development site
in Williamsburg for its Hoxton hotel brand. Another British investment
firm, Quadrum Global, spent $100 million acquiring two residential
development sites: one in Greenpoint and one just over the border in
Long Island City, Queens.
Real estate experts say that more deals from overseas buyers are on
the way. A large, roughly $200 million development site on the
waterfront in Williamsburg just south of Schaefer Landing that can
accommodate 800,000 square feet of residential space, for instance, has
attracted several foreign groups. Nearby, along the East River
waterfront, Richard Mack, chief executive of Mack Real Estate Group, is
courting offers from foreign investment funds to partner with him in a
separate $200 million acquisition of a development, where he is planning
to build rental apartments.
"Everyone wants to be in Brooklyn now, and the same is true with foreign buyers," Mr. Mack said.